It was a rough January for the Washington State Cougars men's basketball team. In the games they should have won, they lost due to their lack of ability to make free throws. And in the games they were overmatched in, they lost...badly.
The calendar has flipped to February but it doesn't get any easier for the Cougars as the #23/20 Arizona Wildcats make their second trip in as many years to the Inland Northwest. In Pullman last season, the Cougars were able to match the Wildcats for about three possessions before the 'Cats blew the game open and left the Palouse with an 86-59 victory.
Arizona lost four starters from last year, most notably freshman Stanley Johnson, but are led this year by the tandem of Ryan Anderson and Gabe York. The two combine to average about 30 points per game and Anderson is second in the Pac-12 in rebounding with 10.1 boards per game, behind Josh Hawkinson's 10.7 rebounds.
The Cougars losing streak sits at seven games; their lone conference win came against #25 UCLA in early January. In their first meeting this season, Washington State was able to hang around with 'Zona for the first 15 minutes of the game but the Wildcats made a strong run going into half and never looked back, winning by a score of 90-66 in Tucson.
Spokesman Review's Jacob Thorpe tweets that center Valentine Izundu, who has missed the last seven games due to a foot injury, is a game-time decision for tonight. Losing Izundu early in conference play has certainly created some holes down low for the Cougars defensively. His potential return tonight would provide the Cougars with the depth they've been missing in the paint to combat Arizona's Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks. The game can also be live streamed on the Pac-12 Networks app and online here. Ted Robinson and Steve Lavin will have the call. You can listen to the Washington State IMG Sports Network's broadcast of game with Matt Chazanow online, via TuneIn.com